The Elements of Moral Philosophy

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9780071267830: The Elements of Moral Philosophy

Firmly established as the standard text for undergraduate courses in ethics, this concise, lively book takes the reader on an in-depth tour of the major moral theories, always illustrating abstract ideas with concrete examples. Separate, self-contained chapters examine such theories as Egoism, Kantianism, Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics, and the Social Contract Theory. Through this conceptual framework, the text addresses timely and provocative issues, including abortion, racism, euthanasia, poverty, marijuana, homosexuality, the death penalty, and vegetarianism. The text's versatility makes it an ideal choice for use not only in ethical theory courses, but also in applied ethics courses of all kinds.

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From the Publisher:

A new chapter 12 on feminist philosophy
New sections include: Baby Theresa and Tracy Latimer (chapter 1), Judging a Cultural Practice to Be Immoral (see Chapter 2), Are There Proofs in Ethics? (see Chapter 3), and whether utilitarianism is too demanding (Chapter 8).
A rewritten section on Natural Law to include a fuller description of Aristotle's world-view with a discussion of Aristotle's world view versus modern science (chapter 4)
A smoother introduction to chapter 11 with The Prisoner's Dilemma described more clearly.
Concise and inexpensive
A lucid, lively introduction of the major philosophical theories of morality and one acknowledged for its clarity in explaining ethical theory to students
Explains why each theory has been accepted by some thinkers but rejected by others
Important current issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the treatment of non-human animals, and famine relief are discussed in depth to illustrate the theories, and to reveal their implications.
Also widely used in Biomedical Ethics and Business Ethics courses as a brief, affordable text for the ethical theory portion of those courses.

About the Author:


James Rachels , the distinguished American moral philosopher, was born in Columbus, Georgia, graduating from Mercer University in Macon in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in 1967 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He taught at the University of Richmond, New York University, the University of Miami, Duke University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he spent the last twenty-six years of his caree.

STUART RACHELS is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. He has revised several of James Rachels’ books, including Problems from Philosophy (second edition, 2009) and The Right Thing to Do (fifth edition, 2010), which is the companion anthology to this book. Stuart won the United States Chess Championship in 1989, at the age of 20, and he is a Bronze Life Master at bridge. His website is www.jamesrachels.org/stuart.

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